Vet Technician School
How to Select the Best One Near Chandler Arizona
Realizing your lifelong dream of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Chandler AZ may at first feel like a challenging task. But in order to succeed as a working veterinary technician, you need to first locate and ultimately enroll in a school that will provide the necessary training and education. But just how do you go about reviewing and contrasting schools so that you can make the ideal choice? Many future students begin their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are close to their homes. Once they have located some nearby schools, they ascertain which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are important considerations when assessing vet tech programs, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Qualifiers such as accreditation and internship programs should be evaluated also. The bottom line is that before making a selection, you must finish your due diligence and compare all important qualifications of the programs you are examining. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll explore the various duties of veterinary technicians and the training options offered.
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Vet Tech Degree Options
Among the first decisions that you will have to make is if you plan to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be based on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main factor will undoubtedly be which specialty appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate supervision of a licensed and practicing veterinarian. And even though there are many duties that they can carry out within the Chandler AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or perform surgeries. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work outside of the conventional vet practice, such as for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education requirements for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have undergone a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complex tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their usual functions may include working at the front desk, cleaning and preparing exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians receive more advanced training compared with assistants and usually obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more complicated activities, for example assisting with surgeries or administering medicine. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to earn a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally requires 4 years to complete. Therefore the main difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
Veterinary techs and technologists may specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. A number may obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Chandler AZ labs or research facilities also.
Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered
An alternative that may be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to veterinarian college is to enroll in an online program. Since the classes are made available through the internet, students can attend on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary tech and technologist degrees require clinical training, that part can normally be completed as an internship or work study program at a local Chandler AZ veterinarian clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in many instances lower the cost of your education. Tuition and supplementary expenditures, for example for commuting and study supplies, may be more affordable compared to more conventional classroom courses. Just be sure that the program that you choose is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting organization. With the online courses and the clinical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are disciplined enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online veterinary technician school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Veterinary Technician Schools
At this point you probably have decided on which veterinary degree that you wish to obtain, and if you prefer to study online or attend a school on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in the Chandler AZ area and across the United States, you should ask some qualifying questions in order to fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other essential qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to enroll in a school that offers the degree and specialty that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you should ask the vet tech colleges that you are looking at.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's imperative that you make sure that the veterinary technician program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier discussed, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a rigorous screening process that confirms you will receive a superior education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for many Chandler AZ area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinary college or vocational school and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the veterinary field. You can begin your due diligence by asking the colleges you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other tips include checking with internet school ranking websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final tip, phone some Chandler AZ veterinary clinics that you might want to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The most effective means to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a clinical setting. Ask if the schools you are considering have internship programs arranged with Chandler AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. Most veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and many furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help build relationships in the local veterinarian community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is Job Placement Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech program can be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A low rate might mean that the teachers were unqualified to teach the course of study or that a number of students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, check that the colleges have a job assistance program and find out what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate could mean that the college has an exceptional reputation within the Chandler AZ vet community and has a substantial network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could indicate that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Chandler AZ schools you are researching what their classroom teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between instructors and students. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and find out what their qualifications are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the subject. If you are going to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Chandler AZ home, you need to confirm that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the school is located close by or within a large city. In addition, if you do opt to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs especially for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes could be an option that will give you more flexibility and decrease the necessity for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And finally, it's important that you find out if the vet colleges you are evaluating offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For instance, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Chandler AZ. Some may only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss due to sickness, work or family issues. You may find that an online program is the ideal way to fit your veterinary education into your active life.
Chosse the Best Chandler Veterinary Technologist School
Picking the appropriate veterinary technician program is a crucial first step to starting a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for animals. Future students looking into vet tech colleges must make their decision based on a number of key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative tasks and support the veterinarian with the animal patients as needed. As we have covered, it's essential that you choose a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the right program, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Chandler Arizona.